Long before elves on shelves
, the Scandinavian "nisse" or "tomte" helped out around the house, or made mischief if offended, and looked forward to their buttered porridge on Christmas morning! In order to honor these mischievous gnomes (you don't want to get on their bad side!), we're learning how to draw them! Happily, you can easily capture these delightful Nordic creatures starting with just a simple triangle!
I'm Barbara Williams and I'm so excited to show you all how to create these adorable Christmas elves. Feel free to use them as decorations, gift tags, or whatever your heart desires! Let's do it!
Step 1: Draw a long, narrow triangle
First, lightly sketch a long, narrow triangle the height you want your finished gnome to be. You can make this triangle is many different ways, it just depends on how outrageous or reserved you want your gnome to be! For the sake of this tutorial, I'm choosing to keep it simple.
Step 2: Draw the nose and feet
Second, draw a round nose in the center, and two half-circle feet at the bottom. The large, round nose is the hallmark of these little guys, so don't be afraid to make it big! Again, a lot of creative freedom here to make your gnome something really special. Maybe one square eye, one circle?!
Step 3: Draw the hat and robe brim
Next, draw a curved line draping over the nose for the floppy hat brim, and another over the feet for the hem of his robe.
Step 4: Draw the hat
Then draw the hat by sketching several curved lines upward, roughly following the triangle shape. Extend the line ends to make folds in the hat as shown in the illustration. This is where your gnome should start coming together, isn't it so cute?
Step 5: Draw the mustache and beard
Draw curved lines starting at the middle-bottom of the nose and extending to each side to form the mustache peeking out from under the hat. Then draw a long, wide beard underneath the mustache. I like to make a pointy tip in the center to echo the other triangle shapes.
Step 6: Finish the robe
Now follow the sides of the triangle to draw each side of the robe, not quite extending all the way up to the mustache. If you're a Christmas lover like me, these gnomes make the perfect gift tags for loved ones of all ages!
Step 7: Draw arms
Draw half-triangles for arms starting at the bottom of the mustache and extending about halfway to the hem of the robe. Draw half-circle hands at the end of each sleeve to create your gnome's little hands!
Step 8: Finish with ink
That's it! Now just ink over your sketch and erase your pencil lines.
These darling Christmas gnomes (along with dancing around the Christmas tree) were among my daughter's favorite traditions when she lived in Denmark.
I love watercoloring Christmas gift tags with these darling little gnomes. They'd also be adorable hanging from the tree, framed on a wall, or on the bookmark that keeps your spot in favorite holiday storybooks. Whatever you choose to do with them, I hope they bring a little extra cheer to your celebrations this year!